Shellfish Management

Clams, oysters, crab, shrimp, urchins, and many other species have been a mainstay of the Point No Point Treaty tribes for thousands of years. Readily available year round, shellfish could be harvested, cured, and stored to supplement fresh foods, like salmon or game.

The Treaty Council employs a senior shellfish biologist to coordinate shellfish management activities between the member tribes, provide technical guidance and recommendations regarding resource assessment and allocation, and participate in ongoing litigation with respect to treaty shellfish rights within US v. Washington.

Indian Island Clam Seeding July 2010 Randy Hatch
PNPTC Sr. Shellfish Biologist Randy Hatch planting clam seed on Indian Island
Today, shellfish remain a vital component of Indian life. With the decline in some wild and hatchery salmon populations, tribal economies have been focusing on shellfish harvesting to supplement income. The tribes have also worked hard to maintain harvesting as a cultural practice.

The senior shellfish biologist works closely with other tribal shellfish biologists on the following activities:
Preseason Management Planning: Developing annual shellfish management plans for each species and geographic region within the usual and accustomed fishing area of the PNPTC tribes. These plans are developed jointly with the state of Washington.

During the course of individual plan development, Treaty Council staff evaluates new management proposals and coordinates member responses, participates in the development of abundance forecasts and harvest guidelines, and develops separate intertribal management agreements, as required, on behalf of the member tribes.

Chris Whitehead Jamestown
Shellfish Biologist Biotoxin Study

In-season Harvest Coordination: Conducting harvest monitoring and catch data compilation, in preparation of emergency harvest regulations that respond to current harvest opportunities/restrictions as well as track the completion of harvest quotas.

Stock Assessment: Coordinating the stock assessment work of the member tribes, and performing necessary data analysis of assessment results for future management decisions.

Shellfish Sanitation: The senior shellfish biologist is one of two tribal representatives who serve on the Inter-State Shellfish Sanitation Commission. The Commission develops and maintains sanitary guidelines for shellfish harvesting, processing, interstate transport and consumption. Environmental monitoring and response is also performed locally to maintain appropriate water quality standards for shellfish.

Tamara Gage Port Gamble Shellfish
Biologist measuring a Dungeness Crab
The Point No Point treaty area, including Hood Canal and the Strait of Juan de Fuca, is one of the most productive shellfish growing and harvesting areas in the Pacific Northwest. In 2008, the most recent year in which data are available, the PNPTC’s tribal members commercially harvested: 123,400 pounds of manila and littleneck clams; 451,700 pounds of geoduck; 214,900 dozens of oysters; 265,300 pounds of crab; and 50,800 pounds of shrimp. The commercial value of the harvest is estimated at $6,800,000.
Strait of Juan de Fuca Spot Shrimp

Hood Canal Spot Sprimp

Jamestown Tribe Oyster Aquaculture July 2009 Biologist Chris Whitehead

Nicole Aikman, PG diver, NR Administrative Assistant with a geoduck

Josh Chapman Jamestown Fisherman,  Tanner Crab test fishery.


Tanner Crab and a Dungeness Crab.

Cooked Tanner Crabs

photos sboldt 3-9-13

Port Gamble Fisherman - Dungeness crab 2014
Duane Aikman III with a regular and albino Dungeness crab